Collage of states on green background

State-by-State Snapshots

March 2, 2020

California Funding from state: $26.5 million earmarked for counties for outreach, some of which may go to libraries A cohort of California librarians, in conjunction with the California State Library and the California Library Association (CLA), created an online toolkit for libraries to help prepare for the census. CLA also established an online portal of … Continue reading State-by-State Snapshots


From left: Melanie Toledo (at podium), Carolyn Petersen, and Janessa Esquivel.

Supporting Tribal Libraries

February 28, 2020

At “Perspectives on Outreach to Tribal Libraries,” a February 28 program at the Public Library Association’s 2020 Conference in Nashville, librarians from tribal libraries and the state libraries that support them offered tips for successful collaboration. Have a purpose. Are you from a state or public library that wants to reach out and network with … Continue reading Supporting Tribal Libraries



Left to right: John O’Brien, TyLisa Johnson, Christi Buker, Shawnda Hines.

Making the News

January 27, 2020

Christi Buker, executive director of the Pennsylvania Library Association, stressed that libraries should focus on what they do best when conducting advocacy, highlighting successful programs and outreach efforts that can justify continued or new government funding. Alternately, Buker said that libraries need to focus on the bad, too. If libraries are hurting due to lack … Continue reading Making the News


Meredith Farkas

Your Library’s Story

January 2, 2020

The idea that the library data we all collect and share could be used against us is troubling, and it has left me thinking about how important it is that library workers find ways to control the narrative about our own value. In an era of shrinking budgets, libraries must find ways to tell our … Continue reading Your Library’s Story



K. O. Lee Aberdeen (S.Dak.) Public Library, from framing to final product. Photos: K. O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library (top three); Spencer Sommer/MSR (bottom)

How to Build a Library

September 3, 2019

These libraries, each completed within the past three years, are now centerpieces of their communities. They have inspired awe and appreciation, increased user engagement, received architecture and design awards—and won over some of their critics. So how did these endeavors come together? How does a beautiful building become a reality? We asked three administrators—who have … Continue reading How to Build a Library


US Capitol

August Is for Advocacy

July 24, 2019

As you may have heard in the news, the Trump administration appears to be moving forward with a budget deal, after weeks of negotiations between congressional leaders and White House officials. The agreement currently includes increased or level funding for most domestic and defense programs. In May, the House included significant increases in their funding, … Continue reading August Is for Advocacy


Fund Libraries: Tell Congress to Invest in Libraries graphic

Library Advocates Deliver

April 12, 2019

The annual campaign to gather support for the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program began with the congressional appropriations process in March, prime time for advocates to tell members of Congress about the important library programs supported by federal funding. With the Institute of Museum and Library … Continue reading Library Advocates Deliver


Fund Libraries: Tell Congress to Invest in Libraries graphic

ALA #FundLibraries Campaign Kicks Off for FY2020

March 11, 2019

In a statement issued shortly after the budget was released, American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo said, “As discouraging as it is that the administration has again proposed eliminating IMLS, the bipartisan support in Congress over the past two years gives us reason to hope.” The president’s proposal slashes IMLS yet again despite his … Continue reading ALA #FundLibraries Campaign Kicks Off for FY2020


Melinda Gates (Photo: Jason Bell)

Newsmaker: Melinda Gates

March 1, 2019

Gates spoke with American Libraries at the 2019 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits—where it was revealed that she would serve as this year’s honorary chair of National Library Week. The Moment of Lift is about lifting up women and girls. What do you mean by lift, and why is it so important? I … Continue reading Newsmaker: Melinda Gates


An attendee samples craft beer at a 2018 “Stouts and Stories, Ales and Tales” event hosted by Jefferson County (Colo.) Library Foundation.Photo: Steve Hostetler

Libations in the Library

March 1, 2019

The idea of alcohol at a library-sponsored event may strike some as unusual. But supporters say that serving alcohol increases event attendance, particularly among younger adults, and cultivates a public image of the library as a hip, up-to-date social setting. “People are used to relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine,” says Marcy … Continue reading Libations in the Library